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Executively Speaking: A New Database!

Michael Saxe-Taller-BEST by Michael Saxe-Taller, Executive Director

There are behind-the-scenes systems that allow complex community organizations like Kehilla to run effectively and efficiently. In this day and age, it is crucial to have a well-functioning database. Over the years, Kehilla has continued to develop and grow in spite of not having such a database, but those times are ending.

I am excited to report that as of June 1, we have a new Salesforce database! This is the result of the hard work of Kehilla’s Managing Director, Beth Bittle, the wise guidance of congregant Michael Myers and a generous donation from one of our congregants. We hired a consultant, Sarah Gill, and she has been building a database tailored specifically to our needs. We will, over the next 3-6 months, continue to develop and expand the database into a system that should dramatically improve our administrative functioning in many areas.

The results we expect include:

  • An improved, integrated membership and registration process.  You recently received an email inviting you to renew your membership and, in some cases, register for Kehilla School. We now have one form that is used for membership renewals, new memberships and religious school registrations. The form will combine all fees and allow you to set up your desired payment plan. We will also be able to automatically update your contact information into the database.
  • More attention to congregants’ financial needs. The database will allow us to have more streamlined financial processes including more systematic invoicing.
  • More effective administration of Kehilla School and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program. We will now be able to more smoothly integrate functions such as registration, billing, and administration with our database.
  • More accurate information on Kehilla members and others who are connected to the Kehilla community. We will be better able to track a wide variety of details, ranging from what adult education classes people attend, to family Yartzeits (loved ones’ date of death) and Bar/Bat Mitzvah dates, to records of members’ contributions to Kehilla. As well, the information we receive will itself be more accurate. All of this will allow us to respond more efficiently to your many needs.

The transition to the new database is complex, and time and labor intensive. Its new capabilities will require us to change some of our forms, methods and procedures. We expect things to be easier in the long run, but change takes getting to used to. We ask for your continuing assistance and patience with the process.

We think the results will be worth it!

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